The official blog of the Lung Institute.
It’s never too late to get started. But better sooner rather than later when it comes to Time and COPD Life Expectancy.
Chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) invariably mean more than a simple decline to your quality of life. As the gradual progression of the disease sparks the incremental breakdown of the lung’s airways and passages, this progression will ultimately create respiratory complications that will continue to increase.
Although the description of the disease’s progression may seem morbid, it’s vital to understand its seriousness and how it works in order to come up with the best plan to confront it.
In the fight against COPD and other chronic lung diseases, your greatest ally is ultimately time. Time is by far the greatest resource we have, simply because we can choose to do anything we want with it–up to and including the management of your health and well-being.
At the Lung Institute, we understand that Time and COPD Life Expectancy can be a difficult topic to discuss whether consulting with a doctor, family or a loved one. However, to be informed is to be safe. And understanding your disease, its progression, and acting quickly to maintain your quality of life is one of the safest things you can do.
COPD Life Expectancy- An Overview
When it comes to gauging one’s life expectancy in virtually any field of medicine, it is not an exact science. An individual diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live may pass within three or may continue to live for ten more years. The simple fact is that every disease progresses differently.
Ordinarily, COPD is diagnosed through a staging system called GOLD COPD Stages. In this staging system, the severity of one’s disease progression is assessed using metrics such as your forced expiratory volume in one second reading (FEV1), which is collected during your pulmonary function test.
In total, the GOLD COPD stages are broken down into four stages, and the general breakdown of life expectancy is as follows:
- Stage I- Mild COPD (predicted normal life expectancy is common)
- Stage II- Moderate COPD (predicted 5+ life expectancy with treatment)
- Stage III- Severe COPD (predicted 5+ life expectancy with treatment)
- Stage IV- Very Severe COPD (predicted time is limited even with treatment)
In short, the emphasis of increasing life expectancy with treatment is to refrain from any negative or respiratory-harming conditions (smoking or working in areas of high airborne pollution) while closely following the prescribed treatment regimen of your primary physician. As many who develop COPD typically fall within stages II or III, treatment is essential to maintaining a desired quality of life and extending your life expectancy as long as possible.
How Do I Extend My Life Expectancy?
Always talk with your doctor before changing your treatment plan. Used in combination with your treatment plan and under the supervision of your doctor, these tips may help you feel better. If you have questions about your health or COPD life expectancy, be sure to talk with your doctor.
To start, here at the Lung Institute, we’d strongly advise you quit smoking. Unless that’s done, the internal damage to your respiratory health will only continue. Although quitting is incredibly difficult, particularly when the habit has been developed over decades, it’s essential to the forming of a healthier life.
Change Your Diet
When most people hear that they need to change their diet, their first instinct is to assume that they are being told they need to lose weight. This is inaccurate. In this sense of the word, to change one’s diet simply means to change the foods you typically consume in order to better promote natural health and energy within your body. This will ultimately give your body more of the crucial vitamins and nutrients it needs to regulate your organs and keep you healthy. The added benefit is that it will also reduce some of the negative and nutritionally unfulfilling foods (fast food) we routinely eat out of convenience.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard, and it can start as soon as you choose:
- Follow the Japanese in how they structure their meals: small portions of meat such as chicken or fish, paired with a heavy portion of rice and vegetables. Not convinced? The Japanese have one of the highest life expectancies in the world as a result of that simple and healthy diet.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit (or frozen if you enjoy smoothies) and focus on berries such as raspberries, cranberries and blueberries as they contain plenty of antioxidants that may help regulate your immune system and may reduce inflammation in the lungs which may relieve airway constriction, helping you breathe easier.
- Pack up on protein by eating healthy meats such as baked or grilled chicken, along with beneficial nuts such as peanut butter and almonds, as well as beans like black and pinto beans.
For more tips on how to get started with a healthy COPD diet to boost your life expectancy, keep reading here.
Start Exercising Again
We don’t mean hit the gym either. Working out simply means allotting a certain amount of time per week to gain some healthy exercise. This could simply mean walking to your mailbox or down the street. Set a goal for yourself of where you think you can reasonably walk to, give it a week of consistently meeting it, and then challenge that goal by expanding it in a week. When walking to the mailbox becomes easy, walk to the end of the street. When walking to the end of the street becomes easy, walk around the block.
Your Treatment Options
In addressing your disease head-on, doing so without a proper plan of treatment is not advised. Currently, there are a variety of treatment options available, from stem cell therapy, to inhalers, steroids, and supplemental oxygen.
All have shown the ability and potential to help relieve inflammation or help ease breathing in some way.
Looking Towards What’s Next
COPD life expectancy can either be disheartening or it can be a guidepost to change a few aspects of your life to take control of your health and future. And as we stated earlier, time is the biggest factor in managing one’s health; the sooner you act to affect your health positively, the better your overall outlook.
With a few behavioral changes, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within those with COPD, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life.
For more information on stem cell therapy and what it could mean for your life moving forward, contact us today or call us at (800) 729-3065. Our patient coordinators will walk you through our available treatment options and talk through your current health and medical history.
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